Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Superman says: Don't wait a decade

It's been a long, long time since I've felt invincible. Fellas, you know what I'm talking about - like you can take on the world with one hand tied behind your back and come out of it with nothing more than minor skin abrasions. Basically, Superman. It's something ingrained in most anyone with a set of testicles. It's what makes the world go 'round.

Of course, some of us come in contact with kryptonite. The worst sort of encounter with it comes when you don't even know what your kryptonite is. You lose your strength, your energy, your stamina, your witts and ability to control your temper. Almost like Jackie Mackie Paisley Passy has somehow got a hold of your baby maker. It can get ugly and there's nothing you can do about it. No one knows what's causing it or how to combat it. Your symptoms are diagnosed as the condition rather than symptoms.

10 years! 10 friggin' years I've felt like this. Some times it was more severe than others, but always there. That was until 6-weeks ago when we finally discovered what my kryptonite was.

My kryptonite is... gluten. It's called Celiac disease - an autoimmune disorder - and it's not a widely tested for condition. Yet, there are some who think that possibly 1 in every 133 Americans may be afflicted with it - many being "diagnosed" with other disorders. In fact, after I became aware of it my nephew was tested for it, only after my sister insisted. The pediatrician had never heard of it and had to research via the web. She's now going to screen most of her patients who have nutritional issues.

Yeah - it's not easy to catch everything with gluten (I'm dealing with a reaction to something inadvertently eaten yesterday), but when you know your poison it sure makes life a lot more pleasant.

So, here I am, now 30-years-old and feeling better than I ever have in my adult life - I'm invincible, again. It's too bad 10 years went by before figuring it out, but at least it's better than the 11-years it takes the average celiac to be diagnosed. Check it out for yourself. If a pediatrician had never come across it maybe there's a chance your doctor hasn't. Maybe.